Police Abuse

Cigarettes Can Kill: Florida Deputies Shoot Man Looking for a Smoke in His Own Driveway

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Escambia County Sheriff's Office

Early Saturday morning, Roy Middleton was rummaging through his mother's car in the driveway of his Warrington, Florida, home, looking for a cigarette, when he heard someone bark, "Get your hands where I can see them!" Middleton initially thought it was a neighbor playing a joke on him, but when he turned his head he saw Escambia County sheriff's deputies standing in his driveway. The next thing he knew, he says, they were shooting at him. "It was like a firing squad," Middleton told the Pensacola News Journal. "Bullets were flying everywhere." Middleton was lucky the deputies were terrible shots. His injuries were limited to a leg wound. "My mother's car is full of bullet holes though," he said. "My wife had to go and get a rental."  

The deputies came to Middleton's house around 2:42 a.m. after a neighbor saw him reaching into the car and called 911. What happened after that, from the cops' perspective, is unclear. But let's say they were unnerved by Middleton's slowness in obeying the command to show his hands and feared that he was armed. Maybe he even moved in a way that suggested to the deputies that he might be reaching for a weapon. That scenario is in some ways similar to the one confronting Merritt Landry the previous night, when he shot a teenager who had hopped the fence in front of his New Orleans home. Landry said he shot the intruder, Marshall Coulter, because he seemed to be reaching for a weapon. Coulter was in fact unarmed, although there is little doubt, given his history of burglary arrests (his brother called him "a professional thief"), what he was planning to do after climbing the fence.

There are some important differences between these two situations, of course. Middleton was standing in the driveway of his own home, where he had every right to be. If anyone was intruding, it was the sheriff's deputies, who had a lot more firepower than Landry, more training in dealing with scary situations, and less reason to be afraid. Unlike Landry, they were not awakened in the middle of the night by a dog barking at a would-be home invader. But probably the most important difference between these two cases is that the deputies were acting as armed agents of the government, while Landry was an ordinary citizen anxious to protect his pregnant wife and baby daughter. That helps explain why Landry was immediately arrested for attempted murder, while the Florida deputies have been placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation. Although the fusillade they fired could easily have killed Middleton—an unarmed, innocent man standing on his own property—I will be very surprised if any of them face similar charges.

I am not sure Landry was justified in shooting Coulter, although he seems to have a pretty good defense under Louisiana's law allowing the use of deadly force to repel home invaders. But it seems even less likely that the deputies were justified in shooting Middleton. Assuming that both shootings are attributable to errors, the outcomes should be similar. If Landry ends up going to prison while the deputies remain free, it will confirm the double standard that lets cops make deadly or potentially deadly mistakes without facing criminal charges while giving regular folks no such leeway.

NEXT: Illinois Grabs Guns From Mentally Ill, Those Who Violate Laws

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  1. cops make deadly or potentially deadly mistakes without facing criminal charges while giving regular folks no such leeway.

    So…when will dunphy not show up to defend this?

    1. Dunphy doesn’t always defend things like this. Often he will say that the officers were wrong in this isolated incident and should face charges.

      1. That’s not what he said in the case of Andrew Lee Scott, who was murdered in his own home by Florida cops who erroneously claim that he raised and pointed a gun at them.*

        In fact, his exact words were: no, atfpapic, he was not innocent

        he drew a gun on the cops and paid the price

        fuck him

        *Of course, the photo of the crime scene contradicts the possibility of that ever happening the way the cops said it did, what with the door swing being the way it was, the angle of entry of the bullets and the architecture of the apartment he was standing in. But that fucker would have you believe the cops told the truth.

        1. I’m not saying Dunphy never defends things like this. I’m just saying he’s been known to go the “isolated incident” route as well.

          1. Only when there’s no way way out, like video evidence. Even then he never argues police should be anything more than fired.

            1. IIRC, he didn’t even call for criminal prosecution of the officers that attempted to execute the two newspaper delivery women and that surfer when they were chasing Dorner. Instead, he said they deserved to be terminated.

              I mean, seriously, anyone not calling for attempted murder charges for the cops involved is a scumbag piece of shit.

              1. I mean, seriously, anyone not calling for attempted murder charges for the cops involved Dunphy is a scumbag piece of shit.

                FTFY.

              2. On that subject… I wonder when the whole Dorner story is going to come out. The two trucks that were shot up, the ambush of the cop car when it seemed like Dorner had already left the city. There’s some weird shit that went down. It’ll probably be years.

                1. Dorner who? /LAPD

      2. Let’s say the homeowner, upon being shot at, had managed to return fire, killing both deputies. Since the deputies had no right to shoot at him in the first place, I’m sure Dunphy would agree that it was a clear-cut case of self-defense.

    2. His stunt replacement is here.

  2. Confident prediction:

    No charges will be brought against the deputies.

    Landry will undergo a brutal ordeal-by-trial, with the outcome completely up in the air depending on how effectively the issue can be racialized and how receptive the jury is to serving as an adjunct to a state-sponsored lynching.*

    *This assumes, of course, that the incident happened pretty much as described yesterday.

    1. I’m assuming Landry and Coulter are of the same race. Otherwise Landry would be getting Zimmermaned by now.

      The deputies will get medals for wounding their victim when clearly they could have justifiably killed him and his little dog too.

      1. Nope. Landry’s white (or at least white enough), and the Coulter is black. Sorry, its Zimmerman 2.

        1. Oh great. Hopefully the press is Zimmermaned out.

          1. The press is never Zimmermaned out.

            I mean, they’re never identity politicked out.

            1. Maybe raising resentment is like raising corn, you get better results when you rotate the crop.

              1. Best comment NA.

          2. I’m glad there was nothing in my mouth when I read that.

  3. Hey, he could have been an ultraviolent 95 year old, and ended up dead…

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/…..6856.story

    1. I cannot fathom a man who has lived on this earth for 95 years dying in such a senseless way at the hands of such cowards. It’s also a serious crime to physically hurt a mental patient, but since we’re dealing with cops and not nurses, no charges will be filed.

    2. Saw that. Any officer should be able to overcome a 95-year old man unless that man is carrying a firearm. They should be shamed into resignation, assuming they still possess the capacity for shame.

      1. assuming they still possess the capacity for shame.

        Then they wouldn’t be cops.

    3. Sometimes you have to kill the old man for him to submit to treatment. Just like the appropriate police response to someone threatening suicide is to shoot them in the face.

    4. You know how those extreme geriatrics are when they get uppity. There’s no telling what they might do.

      Really, though, the only time you need to be afraid of the really really old guy is if you’re in a Hong Kong action flick.

    5. Did he say he wanted cake? If he said that, I’ll give the officer a pass.

  4. I was going to make a snarky comment, but after I got done reading the post, all I can say is that this is fucking insane.

    If I caught someone rummaging through my own vehicle, I can’t imagine discharging a firearm at them– and I own and love my guns.

    1. I can imagine it. It wouldn’t be worth the headache unless he had a weapon, but I can definitely imagine it.

      1. I can, too. I have a completely fenced in yard. If you’re on the wrong side of the fence, especially after hours, I’m not going to stop to discuss intentions or motivations.

        1. Do you have your hours posted?

          1. After hours: Midnight to Midnight, 7 days a week.

            A fully fenced in property means “By appointment only”.

            1. After hours: Midnight to Midnight, 7 days a week.

              A fully fenced in property means “By appointment only”.

              This. There are several “beware of dog” and “we don’t dial 911” type notices on the outside of my property. You don’t come through that fence unless you are invited or have a warrant. period.

              1. Then you’re subject to execution by unidentified police officers if you even so much as answer your door at 1:30 am with a gun in your hand, even if they are at the wrong door, concealing their presence from plain sight and have no reason to be there.

                At least that’s what we were told by Seattle Supercop a year ago.

                1. Then may I die in a pile of brass, firmly gripping a warm gun.

                2. I have my authentic Japanese tea party set in place at night to invite any burglar to enjoy a bit of tea, English crumpets in a nice refined setting before we get down to business. THAT is how you unnerve a guy.

              2. It’s so strange that, in America, pretenses of masculinity and thumb-sucking paranoia seem to go hand-in-hand. Ever consider growing a pair?

                1. Ever consider growing a pair?

                  Is that the best you got? Insulting my genitalia is a bit immature and disingenuous.

                  I see no claims of masculinity in anything I’ve stated. My wife has the same views and has actually pulled a gun on someone (I haven’t had the need).

                  And please, explain to me in Tony-logic, how being non-social makes me automatically paranoid. I don’t like most people, and no one but my close associates and I have any legitimate reason to be on my property at any time.

                  1. I guess I’m in no position to judge, since I live in a high-rise apartment largely because I feel it is safe from the rabble. Still, boasting about one’s arsenal and home defenses always seems to me as an attempt to express one’s machoness but actually comes across as bed-wetting paranoia.

                    1. Your projection is noted.

                      The way things “seem” to you is irrelevant.

                      I lived in a high rise apartment at one point, too. I felt pretty safe there. There was keyfob entry, a security desk, security cameras, etc. That didn’t stop the burglars from ransacking 3 apartments and assaulting an older lady in the middle of the day.

                      Point is, bad shit happens. It may be rare. It may be unlikely to ever happen to me. I’m still going to prepare and take steps to prevent it. When I get in my car and drive to the store, the likeliness of me getting into an accident is low, but I still wear my seatbelt just in case.

                    2. I live in a high-rise apartment largely because I feel it is safe from the rabble.

                      Would that be the same rabble that you claim to care so fucking much about but apparently would never deign to associate with much less leave your highrise apartment to actually, I don’t know, help? You’re every negative Progressive stereotype rolled into one obnoxious package.

                    3. You’re every negative Progressive stereotype rolled into one obnoxious package.

                      That’s how you can tell it’s just a character.

                    4. I hope so but you never know. There’s bound to be at least one alpha prog-tard out there somewhere who fits every single stereotype to a tee and it isn’t an act. I wonder if we have found it. Sort of like a “brain bug” for proggies.

                    5. There’s bound to be at least one alpha prog-tard out there somewhere who fits every single stereotype to a tee and it isn’t an act.

                      There are millions of them, but they couldn’t do this for this long if they really believed in it. joe was the worst progtard I’ve ever seen and he gave up years ago.

                    6. Brain bug? More like “dung beetle”.

                    7. One problem with apartment living becomes very clear when your neighbor decides to set the building ablaze with some poorly-thought-out, early morning cooking. But then, I’m paranoid about that sort of thing.

                    8. Or when the city police think someone living there is up to no good and they drop a bomb on the building and burn down the block.

                      Nevermind. I don’t think Tony lives in Philadelphia.

                    9. Or when the city police think there may be a fugitive somewhere in the building and start kicking down doors and shooting residents.

          2. By “after hours” I meant late at night past my normal awake time.

            1. That’s what I figured. And I am all for shooting people who break into your house. But I’m not quite so keen on isolating myself from everyone else, so I’d take a little effort to make sure it really was someone with ill intent.

              1. Why do you think anyone cares what you’d do?

                Or that saying stupid snarky shit like “do you have them posted” makes you anything other than an asshole.

                1. What the fuck is your problem? The person I actually addressed the joking question to managed to reply without being a complete fucking asshole. Get a life. Of course nobody cares what I (or anyone else posting anonymously on here) would do.

        2. Amen, defend your life and your liberty.

  5. One difference already – Landry, who works for the city, was put on unpaid leave.

    1. He needs a better contract. ATFPAPIC.

  6. But, did they shoot his mother’s dog?

  7. The deputies went home safely.

    All’s well that ends well.

  8. Where does all this end?

    1. With the taxpayers get soaked because of the deputies stupidity, cowardice and panic fire.

  9. With the rise of cops routinely engaged in these kind of freakouts we have a national emergency on our hands, but who declares martial law on the marshals?

      1. I just don’t see that happening. The last time it did, a little black girl was being escorted to school in Arkansas, and without that kind of symbolic power, a kind that was unique to that era to such an extent all current civil rights leaders striving to retain it are a pathos of laughable melodrama, there is nothing in it for the Feds to exploit that would be worth the risks.

      2. A-10 with 30mm Avenger vs Bearcat.

        I’d pay a lot to see that.

    1. Ohhh martial law inception.

      1. It’s more of a play on ‘who watches the watchers’ and being a snob, I prefer Inception in the original Borges. Nah, that was a pretty decent take on the dream in a dream premise as a video game level to harder level metaphor.

  10. Based on who does what and what happens in New Orleans every day (especially the Marigny)… Landry was right to shoot the colorfully tatted 14 year old. Any and all burglars are a threat to one’s life in New Orleans. And I don’t care what Clive Stafford Smith has to say about being mugged how many times in NOLA.

    Hoodlumdom must be shot to death or maimed wherever and whenever legally possible. They must be taught how to live in a liberty loving society someway.

    1. Is this really the best you can do with this character? I expect better writing than this.

      1. Dude, you expect better? When the “norm” of sockpuppets is shriek or Tony, the most obvious, boring, and useless sockpuppets imaginable?

        1. Expectations is what separates us from the animals like you and Tim.

        2. You isn’t a sockpuppet yourself?

          1. aren’t / isn’t – let’s call the whole thing off.

          2. The poor grammar and punctuation isn’t fooling anyone. Seriously, take a writing course at your local community college or something. You need feedback and guidance if you want to make credible characters.

            For one thing, you can’t just trot out “Lyle” for dead teenagers and warboner threads. Sprinkle him around a few different articles. It’s makes him slightly more believable.

            1. The thing is, the sockpuppet thing is so played out, that even if you were making a good one, who cares? Sockpuppets are like bell bottoms and disco; they had their time and they’re utterly passe at this point. Come up with something new or fuck off.

              1. Fair point. But obviously it is some sort of mental condition to keep doing this tedious trolling for years and years. They aren’t going to stop, so they can at least step up and do it better. I mean, look at the Tony post on this thread. That’s just pure trolling. No “argument” or “compromise” just flat-out “argue with me as to disrupt” trolling. That’s a purity of purpose.

                1. Epi is on to something. At one time we all had an emotional investment in one another to the extent that trolling was merely an extension of that love into a form of stalking. But over the years, a stance of cool detachment is the normative social intercourse. Trolls haven’t emotionally matured in this relationship. They are stunted. Uncool by definition. If this place were to go down tomorrow, I know what I would do, beer reviews on a site where they are wanted instead of here, you would publish more slash, and epi would tease college feminist. Tony and shrike, without this site, they would die.

                  1. I like how I was singled out on the Rational Wiki’s irrational article on Reason.

                    The Hit & Run comments model was originally intended as an unmoderated free speech zone, but by April, 2012, the area had become overrun by trolls, sock puppets, spoofers, pornographers and malcontents, rendering it unpleasant and chaotic even by, e.g., Reddit’s low standards of decorum.

                    1. Later that month Reason administrators finally acknowledged that utopian anarchy doesn’t work very well in the real world, and they imposed a new registration system for the comments section. It only took two years of my life of constantly trolling and doing abhorrent nonsense like pasting entire 500 comments of from previous poss into a single post to prove their model unworkable.

                      Fixed that for you, Mary.

                    2. Fucking squirrels, its not not 3 PM, yet. Those skipped letters were fixed before I hit submit. That’s the review version above.

                    3. We have very high standars of indecorum, thank you very much.

                    4. Yeah, but when I do a ‘fix that for you’ I always look out for those mistakes. I did that time and it still showed up in the original illiteracy.

                    5. “The comments section on Reason’s “Hit and Run” rivals Yahoo! News for being the worst hive of scum and villiany on the Internet, and provides plenty of evidence to conclude that Web 2.0 with its “anyone can comment on anything” model perhaps isn’t such a good idea.”

                      Interesting. Who wrote that?
                      The entire article reads like a Tony post.

      2. Well have go sir. You’re a freeman.

        1. Personally and for the record, I’m too lazy to screw with name changes since registration turned it into an extra step. I’d even welcome an editor monitor to vouch for that.

  11. Lucky he is still alive – Police have been out of control for years but they use to confine themselves to only harassing minorities – Now its open season on all you niggas

    1. I’m surprised they didn’t just let him bleed out to avoid the paperwork.

  12. Combine this post with the previous one about the “much needed” APC for a bunch of paranoid bumpkins in New Hampshire.

    Has it ever occurred to any of the upper echelon theorists of Law Enforcement Science that they are doing a monumental disservice to both their rank and file and the people who pay their salaries by incessantly beating the War on Cops drum?

    1. Theorists? perhaps. The bureaucrats and politicians for whom cops are a vocal minority, a minority who (as Dunphy loves to point out) enjoy the support of society’s bumpkins? Of course not.

  13. According to the regulations, all the cops need to say is that they “felt like” they were in danger, and the burden will be shifted to the taxpayers. And no, there will be no criminal charges. After all, these officers have a right to go home to their families and the guy should have complied to their demands and they would have merrily been on their way.

    Except…he was complying to their demands and they shot him anyway. Which means this becomes a “teachable moment” (read: a joke in the station house for years to come) for the officers involved, a new policy will be drafted and ignored and the taxpayers will end up on the hook for a considerable sum of money.

    1. Give the cops a little credit. They waited until he was facing them before they shot him. They knew shooting him in the back wouldn’t look good on the teevee.

      And you people scoff at “New Professionalism”.

  14. Romans 13:1, New International Version
    Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

    THIS IS WHAT CHRISTIANS ACTUALLY BELIEVE

    1. Well, obviously it’s not meant to be taken literally. It refers to any manufacturer of dairy products.

      1. Seriously, though, I’m a Christian and a libertarian and I don’t believe that rubbish. St. Ignatius speaks for himself, not for all of us.

        1. @ yourself and Duke:

          Not to nitpick, but don’t most Christian denominations believe that the Bible is innerrant and must be taken “as-is”? That is, one doesn’t get to pick and choose which phrases one obeys and which phrases are inconvenient.

          That being the case, then if that passage is in the Bible, it most certainly does speak for most Christians, and, if one is to take it’s plain meaning instead of reading penumbras and emanations into it, it is saying to blindly submit to all earthly (legal) authority.

          1. I can’t speak for them and I’m not a believer, but in my experience I have met a lot of apparently sincere Christians who don’t feel a need to take the Bible as-is (which really makes a lot more sense when you consider the well documented history of how it was put together) and don’t just accept every word of every epistle and minor prophet as direct from God.

            1. and don’t just accept every word of every epistle and minor prophet as direct from God.

              Frankly, many of them don’t know enough about the Bible to even know those guys exist so they can ignore them. It seems if you are going to worship an All-Powerful creator based on a book directly inspired by Him, wouldn’t you want to know that thing backwards and forwards?

              Most of them can mutter some stuff that everyone knows about Jesus just as part of being a culturally literate person and then some dogma of their particular sect and nothing else.

              The rational libertarian Christian that knows what he or she believes and why they believe isn’t the problem, it’s the other millions of gibbering yahoos that would gladly stuff the state into every orifice of every person if they could get away with it based on a book and tradition they don’t even attempt to understand that worry me.

              1. Frankly, many of them don’t know enough about the Bible to even know those guys exist so they can ignore them.

                True. I’d bet that describes most self identifying Christians. I was thinking more of people who have rejected formal church stuff, but still see themselves as believing Christians.

          2. No, most denominations look at the bible as a series of stories and principles to live one’s life by. There are a few that take it literally, but I think even Jesus said much of even the OT is parable.

            1. That’s interesting, because most of my friends are Christian (I can’t be racist, one of my best friends is black!) and every single one of them believes in the Bible’s complete inerrancy, and that every word is divinely inspired and completely true.

              There’s even a few young-earth creationists amongst them, though they acknowledge that that is a minority belief even among their peers.

              1. Meh, that’s a pretty small sample set, JJ. And FWIW, I’d say most of the ardent fundies I know would say the same thing, right up until you disputed something from the bible with historical fact, which would probably get them to say “well, it’s not all meant to be taken literally”.

                Also, the books of the Bible have been translated how many times throughout history? What are the chances that what we’re reading is even an accurate translation of the original words/meaning of what was put down?

                1. Hey, you’re preaching to the choir here (haha). Maybe religious people where you live are different than here in the buckle of the Bible Belt. I used to go to services years and years ago, and have been to quite a few different churches here in the ‘burbs. And in any one of them, if you disputed a portion of the Bible with historical fact, they would tell you that the historical fact is wrong, the science isn’t conclusive, etc.

                  1. I grew up in Ohio and spent most of my pre-California adult life in fundie VA, fundie GA and hardcore Catholic Puerto Rico. And I can honestly say that there were some ardent “the Bible is the unsullied word of God” people there, but they were very rare. Maybe Texas is an anomoly.

                    That said, almost every practicing Jew and Muslim I know believes that their Book is the infallible word of God. Not that that means anything, but I do find it striking that tyhe other Abrahamaic religions are much more literist tnan Christianity.

                    1. That said, almost every practicing Jew and Muslim I know believes that their Book is the infallible word of God.

                      They practice better informational hygiene. The Koran and Torah are written in still-spoken languages so there are less translation hijinks. The Koran is supposed to be an exact copy of a book in Heaven (so don’t screw it up) and a hand-written scroll Torah is only allowed so many corrections until it is considered a corrupted copy and burned.

                  2. @Gojira, SugarFree, Sloopyinca, etc –

                    I’ve spent a fair amount of time reading the bible and how it was compiled. The creation story was meant to convey to unsophisticated people how they should listen to the god of heaven, not the god of this world. But if you spend time reading the book from cover to cover, and do so with an open mind and open heart, you’re guaranteed to come away different.

                    Like a thread through time, the bible from beginning to end maintains an amazingly consistent and persistent notion that God is good, man cannot help but sin, and that God simply wants man to trust him and walk in his ways so that sin won’t destroy him. God rejects humanism because he knows man cannot achieve perfection and never will. All of us can see that in our lives today. No matter who we elect, no matter how many constitutions are written, we keep falling into tyranny and despair. Man needs help from above it seems.

                    So I believe in Jesus as the son of god and as the only way to salvation, not because I’ve met him or seen him do a miracle, but because his teachings are so beyond human limitations. They are simple, they are pure and you just cannot find fault in them. Not enough space here to really go into it all. But I highly recommend the bible if you’re a libertarian. There are many references of how God will smite the nations when jesus returns.

                    1. Like a thread through time, the bible from beginning to end maintains an amazingly consistent and persistent notion that God is good

                      That may be true to some extent, particularly in the New Testament. But there are some pretty big parts of the Old Testament where God is a genocidal, mass murdering monster.

                2. What are the chances that what we’re reading is even an accurate translation of the original words/meaning of what was put down?

                  Pretty much zero. What is considered the oldest surviving complete NT dates to around 400 CE and has over 9,000 perceivable corrections to the text and over a 12 identifiable “correctors” who revised the manuscript in the 5th and 7th century.

                  http://codexsinaiticus.org/en/

                  1. IOW, the Bible should be used as a guide for Christians to develop a relationship with God and base their behaviors and belief systems on that relationship.

                    The only right form of Christianity, in my humble opinion, is the one that works for the individual. I guess that’s why anti-Christian people who get into social issues and individual rights conversations with me become pretty frustrated.

          3. “Not to nitpick, but don’t most Christian denominations believe that the Bible is innerrant and must be taken “as-is”?”

            WHO FUCKING CARES.

            This game of pointing out that Christians don’t follow the bible literally and are often hypocrites is incredibly fucking tiresome.

            They believe in fairy tales, and you’re hung up on technicalities in their contracts with their fairy tales.

            1. I fucking care, as apparently do the good people who have been kind enough to carry on the conversation.

              Though I don’t believe it personally, I find theology to be a very interesting subject from an academic standpoint, and am always glad to engage non-assholish people on it’s details.

              1. Perhaps you misunderstand, or are just used to being over-sensitive, but you and all those other people are, again, hung up on technicalities in their contracts with their fairy tales.

                Why bother?

                Are you looking for some kind of rational explanation from what is at its heart, something that is totally irrational?

                I don’t understand what you expect. If you get a rational answer, it’s still framed in the context of a fairy tale.

              2. And by the way, you needn’t bother engaging me, I personally think you’re a fucking idiot.

                There, now you don’t have to make veiled attempts to insult me, I am an asshole and you’re off the hook.

                Bye.

                1. I didn’t think it was that veiled; I was pretty much just calling you an asshole for getting all butthurt that people can have a conversation that you don’t get the point of.

                  1. sgs is just that kind of asshole and is best ignored, I think. If he doesn’t see the point of what you are doing (is there a point at all to this besides amusement and intellectual masturbation, we don’t seem to have solved the world’s problems yet), then you must be wrong to be doing it.

          4. Way back in the olden days of yore when I was in Catholic school, priests and lay Theology and Biology teachers instructed us that Genesis is an allegorical description of creation and not to be taken as literal truth. Evolution is A-OK in the Catholic church, though some priests took the Intelligent Design route.

            Friends of mine that went to Catholic school at roughly the same time but in different parts of the country tell similar stories to mine.

    2. Not all of us believe that. I don’t understand why many libertarians seem to be so anti-christian. If you actually read the entire bible, you’ll see repeated references to governments as “beasts” who continually oppress the people. It also talks about how the only good government will be the one set up by the lord at the end of times. The bible is very anti human government.

      1. I don’t understand why many libertarians seem to be so anti-christian.

        They’re just hoping that their atheist buddies will invite them to their next big cocktail party orgy.

        1. I don’t think all that many are actively anti-christian. Just not pro-christian. I’m not anti-christian any more than anti-believing-in-Norse-gods. I think theology is very interesting, actually.

          1. I don’t have a bunch of Thor worshippers keeping me from buying beer on Thursdays.

            1. Actually, Thor worship requires you to buy beer on Thursday.

              1. But in Mexico Thor worship requires tequila or Mezcal. For me, every day is Thorsday.

      2. So why aren’t there more Christian anarchists? Serious question.

        It seems to me that it started out as a end-of-the-world cult and when the end of the world failed to come in a timely manner, it gradually became the religion of power in the west. But the original Christian view on worldly power seems to me to have been that you shouldn’t worry too much about it. Just live righteously and prepare for the end times. Once they decided that the end of the world wasn’t right around the corner, the whole focus seems to have shifted from not worrying about worldly power too much to trying to collect all of the worldly power in the hands of a Christian elite.

      3. THIS IS WHAT CHRISTIANS ACTUALLY BELIEVE

        I think this was just a South Park joke.

        1. But it’s one of those jokes that is funny because it is (at least in some cases) true.

      4. The bible is very anti human government.

        FTFY

    3. Just playing devil’s advocate here, but when I was religious and studying the bible, I read this not as saying “obey authority because all authority has been ordained by God” but more along the lines of “the only real authority is that which has been ordained by God. All other is false authority”

      Just my .02

      1. It says “all authority”, without any reference to you picking and choosing, or giving any selection criteria.

        1. for there is no authority except that which God has established.

          I’m drawing from this phrase. I’m an atheist and think that 90% of what Christians believe is stupid. But if you’re trying to say that Christianity is incompatible with Libertarian values, there are better arguments.

      2. In Revelation, if you obey the government by accepting its mark so you can buy and sell, then you get tossed into the lake of fire.

        1. A lot of denominations believe Revelations should be considered apocrypha, but what if it is the real deal while the rest of the bible is nonsense?

          1. That’s always the problem I have with religion. Unless you have some sort of mystical experience (which I am pretty sure most religious people don’t have), why believe one thing rather than another? Sure, you want to believe all the nice parts of the Bible that are compatible with a liberal society and the modern world, but what if God really is that big asshole that sends everyone to hell and drowns cities because of what the queers are doing to the soil? You’d better do what that guy says.

            1. what if God really is that big asshole that sends everyone to hell and drowns cities because of what the queers are doing to the soil?

              That Jehovah was often portrayed as a demonic force instead of a goody goody gave me pause not to dismiss some of the events in terms of historical reality.

              I remember how we were indoctrinated into Christianity in Sunday school due to having the good fortune of seeing my teacher’s lesson plan several years later at the age I was growing very critical of the doctrine. She started out emphasizing Jesus as a healer, those stories of his more credible feats are told, then the more miraculous episodes of healing, miracles of other forms, and then finally divinity that goes beyond miracles. It was very methodical in her notes, almost cynical even.

            2. I remember when I broke from the faith, was when I was having a hard time getting anyone to give me a straight answer on what happens(ed) to all the billions of people who have been born, lived, and died, without ever being told about Christ or having a chance to choose salvation. There was a lot of hemming and hawing.

              Finally I had one pastor tell me point blank they’re all in hell. I said that must mean God really doesn’t like East Asians, and hated the indigenous inhabitants of the New World. He said God didn’t do it, hell is the default state of mankind, and as Christians we should all feel bad that we’re not doing enough missionary work to reach everyone.

              I decided then and there that this wasn’t for me.

              1. That pastor is pretty much full of shit. Nobody goes to Hell unless they denied their salvation. And the only way to accept or deny is to be faced with the choice.

                Your exposure to Christianity has been pretty far from mainstream, and not that it would change your belief structure or anything, but I would imagine a more mainstream (read: legitimate) exposure to the teachings of Jesus and what Christianity really is would make you more receptive and tolerant of Christians.

                1. *shrugs* I grew up in the south, and have never lived north of the Ohio River. I’ve been to large Bible Camps in the summer for most of my youth, attended small churches and megachurches. And the message has been pretty much the same. I think in the deep south, what I’ve been exposed to IS the mainstream.

                  Regarding the salvation thing, most of what I’ve been told when I really press the issue is that people don’t go to hell for denying salvation, they go to hell for not accepting salvation. And it is an important distinction. Due to the Fall of Man, everyone on earth is doomed to hell from the instant they are conceived. It is only by the active acceptance of a personal relationship with Christ by which damnation can be avoided.

                  Thus people who never hear about Christ, wind up in the default location of everyone: hell.

                  1. Gojira, you’re interpretation is exactly the one I was taught. Biblical cruelty is just not a big deal in the Southern Baptist traditions except when teaching the wee ones compared to the soft peddling mainline denominations. Grown ups are expected to know that salvation is unique to those who accept Christ, and the lake of fire is like a gravity well attracting all souls that don’t attach themselves to Jesus’s booster rockets. Deserves got nothing to do with it.

                    BTW, ‘righteous’ isn’t a criticism below. I think it is accurate word for one who chooses to take a stand as in your case. The phrase ‘self righteous’ may mussy up my meaning with its connotations.

                    1. We all got it coming, kid.

                2. Nobody goes to Hell unless they denied their salvation. And the only way to accept or deny is to be faced with the choice.

                  So what happens to all those who never hear the tale of Jesus?

                  Do they get into heaven? Then why tell anyone, you may be condemning them to hell if you aren’t convincing enough.

                  Is there a special place for people like that? If so, what’s it like? I don’t recall ever reading such a description in the Bible.

                  1. Do they get into heaven?

                    I’ve always been taught, and personally believe, that yes they do. Innocents are not punished, and they are innocents in the eyes of God if they’ve not been exposed.

                    Then why tell anyone, you may be condemning them to hell if you aren’t convincing enough.

                    I guess because we believe enough to expose people to our beliefs in the hopes that they will follow the teachings of Jesus and make their life and the lives of others on earth better. At least that’s why I share my faith and beliefs when people ask me about them.

                    1. Innocents are not punished, and they are innocents in the eyes of God if they’ve not been exposed.

                      That’s the key difference right there. Most of the churches I’ve attended do not believe that anyone past the age of consent is innocent. All humans are condemned to hell automatically due to the Fall in the Garden of Eden, and this fate can only be averted by active acceptanc of Christ.

                    2. I’ve always been taught, and personally believe, that yes they do. Innocents are not punished, and they are innocents in the eyes of God if they’ve not been exposed.

                      So, you’re saying that all the murderers, rapists, genocidal maniacs, and all around scum who haven’t ever heard the “good word” and have since died are frollicing in paradise because god sees them as innocent, but all the altruistic, benevolent people who rejected the word of god are frying in hell?? Really?

                      I guess because we believe enough to expose people to our beliefs in the hopes that they will follow the teachings of Jesus and make their life and the lives of others on earth better.

                      The arrogance of this statement in context to the question asked is astounding.

                    3. How is that statement “arrogant”? You ask a question and I give an honest and thoughtful response. You don’t like it and you call it “arrogant” without explaining why.

                      Most Christians I know think living by the teachings of Jesus and spreading his philosophy will create more goodness in the world if more and more people likewise accept it and follow it. And you think it’s “arrogant”?

                      Whatever. I’m not having a theological discussion any longer today. The acceptance of Christian libertarians is tenuous at best. I’m probably better off ignoring these threads so I don’t have to tell someone they’re wrong when they assume what I believe and are way off base.

                      Good day.

                    4. It’s arrogant to think that even though you may be condemning a person to unimaginable agony, you should go ahead and risk that condemnation so they may think just as you do.

                      If the end result is either A) unimaginable happiness forever, guaranteed. or B) condemnation to unimaginable torture if they don’t accept what you have to say, how is the second option in the least bit moral?

                      You also didn’t answer my question about the murderers and rapists vs the kind hearted people. But, go ahead and run away from rational debate. It’s the religions way.

                    5. I didn’t answer your question because I merely forgot to. So can that list little bit of bullshit. If you know anything about me, it’s that I never shy away from a debate and have routinely admitted I was wrong about something on these threads. I think my reputation as an honest debater and fair-minded person is pretty accepted on here. I don’t appreciate the accusations of me being disingenuous.

                      As to those people, I personally believe that salvation comes through faith and not just deeds. A man who does not believe in God can no more get into heaven than a camel through the eye of a needle. But at the same time, acceptance must be made with a pure and honest heart, so some dickbag rapist can’t just say “I believe in Jesus” on his deathbed and get into heaven. He has to sincerely mean it.

                    6. But you, yourself, just 5 posts up from this one, said

                      Do they get into heaven?

                      I’ve always been taught, and personally believe, that yes they do. Innocents are not punished, and they are innocents in the eyes of God if they’ve not been exposed.

                      So, you still haven’t answered the question. Is, say, a rapist who lived in rural China and had never heard of jesus, in heaven?

                    7. and I apologize for accusing you of running away. It’s a common response I get when I start pointing out plot holes in the Bible.

                3. The Bible doesn’t really get into much detail on the subject of Hell, does it? I come from a family with lots of of theologians and ministers and I never heard hell mentioned in a religious context growing up. And didn’t early Christians believe that Heaven was what would happen on earth after the judgement, not some place in the clouds?

                  It seems like most of the heaven and hell stuff was invented later by the Church.

              2. I’m really not so righteous I would decline on those grounds. If that was all, he discriminated against billions of people and gave me a chance, and not them, I’d still take him up on the offer. It would be like refusing Superman’s help in a flood because my neighbor was drowning too. However, given there is no offer to be had is why I’m not buying it.

                However, in this context, would not the pastor agree that before Christ, the most rational thing for a person to have been was an atheist?

              3. Ditto, Gojira. My break from the faith started when I was adamantly told that dinosaurs WERE in the bible and that science was wrong about their age. That was at a young age, I finally broke free when I couldn’t reconcile the fact that humans have been around for (at least) 100,000 years but Yahweh has only been around for a few thousand. I began looking at other religions and ended up asking the same question of all of them.

                “When was your god born?”

                1. My best friend would tell you that carbon dating is a false science, that there was a “water vapor canopy” over the earth from the time of the universe’s creation ~7,000 years ago until the Flood, when the canopy burst. The increased pressure and reflective nature of the water re: solar radiation is what allowed humans to live much longer, and to be robust enough to successfully live amongst “prehistoric” monsters.

                  Incidentally it is also the bursting of this canopy by God which fundamentally altered the decay rates of carbon in living things, throwing off the dating technique.

                  1. Yeah, my brother in law believes that crap, too. He actually tried to get into a debate with a paleontologist friend of mine… at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum in DC.

                    This is what we call “weapons grade facepalm” material.

                2. And where did those humans from 100,000 years ago come from? Now work backwards to the dawn of the Universe and explain it to me.

                  There’s where my belief in God starts.

                  1. I don’t know. It’s really that simple. But I can’t see my way to accepting anything on faith when there is no evidence (IMO) to be had either way.

                  2. There’s where my belief in God starts.

                    “Does it mean, if you don’t understand something, and the community of physicists don’t understand it, that means God did it? Is that how you want to play this game? Because if it is, here’s a list of things in the past that the physicists at the time didn’t understand [and now we do understand] […]. If that’s how you want to invoke your evidence for God, then God is an ever-receding pocket of scientific ignorance that’s getting smaller and smaller and smaller as time moves on – so just be ready for that to happen, if that’s how you want to come at the problem.” – Neil DeGrasse Tyson

                    The God of the Gaps argument is old and tired.

                    1. Oh, for fuck sake. Go peddle your anti-Christian bullshit somewhere else. It has no place at the libertarian table and does nothing to expand libertarian thought and philosophy because it is both ignorant of most strains of Christianity and does not help grow the libertarian “brand” with a HUGE segment of the population.

                      Your belief in there not being a God is as based on faith as my belief in God’s divinity is. And your tale of how the universe began is likewise taken without any real concrete supporting evidence that could not be contradicted 10 ways from Sunday by any other number of possibilities. So don’t get up on your little soapbox and decry those of us that take some things on faith when you do it every fucking day yourself.

                    2. If you’ll notice. I actually started this subthread by DEFENDING a christian belief. And I’m not just anti-christian, I’m anti-religion.

                      Belief in scientific theory is not the same thing as faith. For starters, scientific theory requires some actually observable evidence even if we don’t have all the facts yet. Second, and related, is that if the known evidence changes with new found discoveries, science changes the theory and adjusts to the new information. Religion does neither of these things.

                    3. And I’m not just anti-christian, I’m anti-religion.

                      You might want to spend your time being more pro-(insert concept) instead of being anti-religion. Having a pro- position wins more arguments and converts than always being anti-something.

                      And the scientific theory ends up at more dead ends than not. And if the climate change bullshit teaches us anything, it’s that the scientific method can easily be perverted using models and predictions as data points. I fail to see how a theory disputing the existence of God that is based almost exclusively on reverse engineering models and predictions can be thought of as following the scientific method.

                    4. I never claimed to want to convert anyone. I didn’t even come here to pick a fight. I responded to Gojira, a like minded person on why we left the faith. You decided to pick a fight with the evil atheists. Don’t bitch at me for defending my position.

                      Which theory are you specifically talking about? I’m going to assume you mean the Big Bang. This is a theory that is still in it’s infancy, scientifically speaking. Yes, it’s the most commonly accepted because it best fits our current understanding of the universe. If tomorrow, I were to publish a paper that shows that our understanding is flawed in some way, we’d start looking for a better theory. This has been done several times within the last few hundred years as our understanding of physics and quantum mechanics becomes clearer.

                      Yeah, humans are fallible and gullible as evidenced by the AGW crowd, but what they are doing isn’t science. Note that earlier, I said that science changes it’s views as evidence becomes clearer. This is not what AGW supporters do, hence why we commonly refer to it as a religion.

                    5. And the scientific theory ends up at more dead ends than not.

                      That is true, and it is also the good thing about science. When something is found not to accurately describe the world, you need to find a new theory. Science only works because when dead ends are found, people go look for a better path. Things like the current global warming crap are examples of people failing to use science properly, not failures of science.

                  3. It’s occurred to me that any creative imperative in the universe may fit a behaviorist definition of a sentient being, so I don’t rule out there being a God. I also allow that my reasoning here is fraught with hypotheticals that a more rigorous argument may render asunder, but I’m not so attached to either eventuality to care much.

                  4. And where did those humans from 100,000 years ago come from? Now work backwards to the dawn of the Universe and explain it to me.

                    There’s where my belief in God starts.

                    See that makes a lot more sense. Which is better, a God who has to intervene and micromanage creation, or one that can start off from some simple principles and still create a universe capable of producing human beings? I’d say the latter is a much more impressive deity. I really don’t think that there needs to be any fundamental division between religion and science.

              4. Gojira — I’ve had those exact same questions and I’ll wager so has the several believers on this thread. But why not read the bible for yourself and pray about it? Maybe most American christians are in error. That’s why I won’t go to just any church or listen to just anybody. My heart tells me when someone is full of crap or when someone is speaking wisdom. Of course I believe that is the Holy Spirit.

                I’m convinced that god could not punish someone for something they didn’t know. That was even the emphasis of many of Paul’s teachings — when you did not have the Law, you couldn’t be held guilty for you didn’t know it was wrong. Now that you do, then you are held guilty for breaking it.

              5. Heh. Nearly the same experience here. I was kicked out of a catechism class by a nun for being too insistent in my questioning. I was 12 or 13.

                “But Sister, they were only babies. How could they be held responsible for being born and dying in a part of the world where …..”

                Please don’t anyone give a tedious answer to that silly question. I already know the answer.

                1. Please don’t anyone give a tedious answer to that silly question. I already know the answer.

                  How about a non-tedious answer? Because I’d go with “Fuck you, that’s why.”

    4. New International Version?

      Jesus spoke in Old English.

      1. Actually, Jesus spoke Aramaic, which was the Pig Latin of its day.

        “Essedblay areway ethay oorpay inway iritspay,
        orfay eirsthay isway ethay ingdomkay ofway eavenhay.
        Essedblay areway osethay owhay ournmay,
        orfay eythay illway ebay omfortedcay.
        Essedblay areway ethay eekmay,
        orfay eythay illway inheritway ethay earthway.
        Essedblay areway osethay owhay ungerhay andway irstthay orfay
        ighteousnessray,
        orfay eythay illway ebay illedfay.
        Essedblay areway ethay ercifulmay,
        orfay eythay illway ebay ownshay ercymay.
        Essedblay areway ethay urepay inway earthay,
        orfay eythay illway eesay Odgay.
        Essedblay areway ethay eacemakerspay,
        orfay eythay illway ebay alledcay ildrenchay ofway Odgay.
        Essedblay areway osethay owhay areway ersecutedpay ecausebay
        ofway ighteousnessray,
        orfay eirsthay isway ethay ingdomkay ofway eavenhay.”

        1. I prefer that in the original Ozark Mountain Daredevils

          fiay ouyay antway otay etgay otay eavenay, ouyay avehay otay aiseray lotaay ellhay.

    5. This begs the questions, What is governing? If I don’t obey, are they really governing? What is authority? And what is a governing authority? Does God establish authority that breaks His law? (Clearly, no.)

  15. What’s the big deal about “paid” administrative leave? Do you want LEOs to be punished just for shooting an innocent person?

  16. “It was like a firing squad,” Middleton told the Pensacola News Journal. “Bullets were flying everywhere.” Middleton was lucky the deputies were terrible shots. His injuries were limited to a leg wound.

    “That’s some good shootin’, Lou.” – Chief Wiggum

    1. Earned his treat.

  17. Has he been charged yet with resisting arrest? Or assaulting the officers?

    1. They sent him a bill for the bullets.

  18. Comply, citizen!

  19. Ease up on the police they have a dangerous job, they are heroes, etc etc etc

  20. How long does it take to rummage around in a car for smokes? Neighbor sees this guy, calls cops and they show up how much later? I’m not sure what that means but something seems off here

    Also, how long does it take to repair a computer? Reading and posting on an iPhone sucks

    1. Well there was apparently just a single loose cigarette he was digging around for, not a carton in the front seat.

    2. What seems off is the neighbor, seeing the guy who lives there rummaging in a car, calling 911. Way, way off. The neighbor cares enough to protect hir neighbor’s property, but not enough to recognize the neighbor? Or, if s/he couldn’t see his head, asking him who he was?

  21. in America, pretenses of masculinity and thumb-sucking paranoia seem to go hand-in-hand.

    Welcome to the bigorati, Tony!

    1. What’s “thumb-sucking” paranoia, anyway?

      1. It’s Tony’s way of trying to make me look infantile. The irony of it being that he was attacking my masculinity unprovoked. If that’s not infantile, I don’t know what is.

        1. Oh. Are babies particularly paranoid?

          1. Probably. Let’s see how paranoid you are after you’re forcefully removed from the only warm safe you’ve ever known, poked and prodded by strange people, and then are placed under constant watch.

            1. There is a whore house in Vancouver that will do exactly those things to you for an even thousand.

            2. And cut your cock.

  22. But probably the most important difference between these two cases is that the deputies were acting as armed agents of the government

    No. The important difference is that in one case the aggressor was shot, while in the other the aggressors were the shooters. Landry responded to perceived aggression. The cops here initiated aggression upon seeing someone in a car which they knew nothing about.

  23. “If you see something, say something” + trigger happy cops = MERICA

    Hard to see an end in sight to this until police are held accountable for a little more than maybe/might’ve/could’ve been reaching for something dangerous.

    1. If he had nothing to hide, he had nothing to fear. God, I love saying that.

  24. Did I misread, or does the article not name the neighbor who called 911? Middleton has a 6th amdenment right to know who’s snitching on him.

    1. Not to defend the police misconduct here, but it appears Middleton hasn’t been charged with anything, so I don’t think his 6th Amendment rights apply in this situation. He probably will be able to get that information through discovery in the all-but inevitable civil suit though.

    2. I don’t think I would be terribly mad at my neighbor if he called the cops after seeing someone rummaging through my car at 3 in the morning.

      1. I dunno. I’d be struggling with the fact that he sicced armed baboons on me, and the only thing keeping me alive is their utter incompetence with firearms.

  25. Wow that makes a ll kinds of sense dude.

    http://www.Global-Anon.com

  26. If only those officers had just waited in their car until the neighborhood watch arrived.

  27. Gernment makes the rules…but doesn’t obey them

  28. upto I saw the check ov $5090, I be certain that…my… sister woz like they say realie making money part time on their apple laptop.. there moms best frend haz done this 4 only about thirteen months and at present repayed the mortgage on their appartment and bought a great new Cadillac. read more at,….www.Day34.com

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